Sure, dogs are carnivores, but try telling them that when you’re snacking on a piece of fruit and they have to have it now. Ideally, your dog’s diet should only consist of a quality dog food, but hey, who doesn’t like to share their food with their pup? Whether you’re in the midst of plum season or you scored some in the dead of winter, keep a few things in mind before you give in to their begging.
Are Plums Dangerous for Dogs?
Yes and no.
The “meat” of the plum isn’t unsafe. However, the pit of the plum is potentially toxic to dogs, and the plum plant (leaves and branches) itself is very toxic to dogs because the plant and pits both contain cyanide. While it’s unlikely one plum pit, leaf, or stem will be toxic to a dog, it’s best you don’t let them develop a taste for any of it.
If Your Dog Ate Plums, Watch for Cyanide Poisoning
Again, it would take a lot of plum pits or frequent plum plant-grazing to create cyanide toxicity in your dog, but knowing the signs never hurts, especially if plum plants are accessible to your dog.
Symptoms to look for include:
- Difficulty walking/standing (dog acting like they’re drunk)
- Muscle tremors/seizures
A More Likely Danger: Intestinal Obstruction
One plum pit probably won’t cause any issues toxin-wise, but it can create another dangerous problem for your dog: an intestinal blockage.
If your dog eats a plum pit that’s too big to fit through their intestines, it will wedge in the digestive tract and become unable to move. This prevents food from passing through the intestines, and it’s 100 percent fatal if it isn’t removed surgically.
Signs of an intestinal blockage include:
- Vomiting immediately after eating/drinking
- Lack of appetite
- Diarrhea that quickly progresses to no bowel movements
- Abdominal pain (your dog will walk with their back hunched or be unable to get comfortable)
- Pale gums
My dog ate a plum pit. Should I induce vomiting at home?
No. Making your dog throw up an object that could potentially block their intestines means it could possibly obstruct their airway when it comes back up. No matter the size of the plum pit, you should always have your vet evaluate whether inducing vomiting is appropriate.
While plums themselves aren’t dangerous to dogs, their pits and plants are, so it’s safer to just keep your plums to the family table and give your pup something else to nom on. Cyanide isn’t much of a danger with plums, but the risk of an intestinal blockage is pretty high, so make sure your trash isn’t accessible to your dog if your family eats a lot of plums.